12. Sacramento | Hours per week: 6 (33.8 hours) | Entertainment: 30 | Cost of living: 37 | Exercise frequency: 8 (56.6%) | Commute time (mins): 15 (26.39) | Homeownership: 15
11. Albuquerque, New Mexico | Hours per week: 21 (34.6) | Entertainment: 26 | Cost of living: 11 | Exercise frequency: 3 (58.1%) | Commute time (mins): 17 (27.27) | Homeownership: 32
10.San Francisco | Hours per week: 25 (34.7) | Entertainment: 1 | Cost of living: 45 | Exercise frequency: 8 (56.6%) | Commute time (mins): 44 (46.54) | Homeownership: 2
9. Cincinnati | Hours per week: 15 (34.4) | Entertainment: 7 | Cost of living: 4 | Exercise frequency: 44 (47.8%) | Commute time (mins): 21 (32.35) | Homeownership: 35
8. Minneapolis | Hours per week: 9 (34.1) | Entertainment: 19 | Cost of living: 35 | Exercise frequency: 10 (56.2%)| Commute time (mins): 24 (33.73) | Homeownership: 17

Advertisement

7. Milwaukee | Hours per week: 15 (34.4) | Entertainment: 4 | Cost of living: 26 | Exercise frequency: 21 (53%) | Commute time (mins): 12 (26.12) | Homeownership: 42
6. Raleigh, North Carolina | Hours per week: 19 (34.5) | Entertainment: 14 | Cost of living: 23 | Exercise frequency: 13 (55.1%) | Commute time (mins): 23 (32.74) | Homeownership: 12
5. Buffalo, New York | Hours per week: 1 (31.9) | Entertainment: 12 | Cost of living: 29 | Exercise frequency: 45 (46.5%) | Commute time (mins): 6 (22.94) | Homeownership: 20
4. Las Vegas | Hours per week: 4 (33.6) | Entertainment: 14 | Cost of living: 16 | Exercise frequency: 26 (51.8%) | Commute time (mins): 26 (34.44) | Homeownership: 27
3. Portland, Oregon | Hours per week: 19 (34.5) | Entertainment: 2 | Cost of living: 34 | Exercise frequency: 5 (57.7%) | Commute time (mins): 20 (32.18) | Homeownership: 4 (Photo: AP)

Advertisement

2. Reno, Nevada | Hours per week: 3 (33.2) | Entertainment: 18 | Cost of living: 2 | Exercise frequency: 11 (56%) | Commute time (mins): 8 (23.88) | Homeownership: 7
1. Madison, Wisconsin | Hours per week: 5 (33.7) | Entertainment: 3 | Cost of living: 7 | Exercise frequency: 21 (53%) | Commute time (mins):5 (22.73) | Homeownership: 3

(Related: Millionaires Love These 10 Small Towns)

Most people consciously or unconsciously seek to achieve a balance between their careers and their lives outside work.

FitSmallBusiness.com, a digital business publication, recently evaluated several elements of achieving this balance, and ranked 46 U.S. cities according to how conducive they were to providing it.

“Big cities with large populations and major industries also have long commute times and high cost of living, thus, making it hard to find balance for your life outside of work,” Eric Noe, editor-in-chief of FitSmallBusiness, said in a statement.

“Our research suggests the cities that offer best work-life balance tend to be small to midsize, with manageable work weeks and commute times, and lower expenses. Extra time and money were the major factors, regardless of weather.”

Indeed, a number of cities at the top of the ranking are known for being either cold and snowy or extremely hot.

To arrive at its ranking, FitSmallBusiness chose six categories key to work-life balance, and evaluated 46 cities for which information for these metrics was available:

  • Hours worked per week (25%): Each city ranked based on average number of hours a resident works per week, with longer work weeks rated poorly for purposes of the analysis
  • Entertainment (25%): Cities evaluated based on number of bars, availability of recreational activities and percentage of parkland
  • Exercise frequency (15%): Ranking based on percentage of residents who exercise three or more times per week
  • Cost of living (15%): Cities ranked based on a cost-of-living index obtained from Numbeo
  • Homeownership (10%): Each city ranked based on percentage of the population with negative equity in their home, i.e., residents have to work harder to keep up with their mortgage
  • Commute time (15%): Cities ranked based on average length of a one-way commute

Check out the top dozen U.S. cities FitSmallBusiness found provided the best opportunities for a robust work-life balance and their rankings in each of the six factors analyzed.

— Related on ThinkAdvisor: